In 2002, Amiri Baraka was named Poet Laureate of New Jersey. In less than a year, he offended so many people the state cancelled its laureate program just to keep him out of the public eye. Now he's back in the news because his son, Ras Baraka, is running for mayor of Newark.
Irish poet Seamus Heaney died recently, at the age of 74. Dick Gordon spoke with Heaney back in 2004, and we listen to an excerpt from that conversation. At the time, Heaney had just completed his own version of Antigone.
We continue listening back to some of the most memorable stories we’ve aired. Today, Phoebe Judge visits the Ganges River, one of the holiest yet most polluted places in India, and meets people who want to clean it.
New images released by NASA show that the red toxic sludge in Hungary is easily visible from space. In the small mountain town of Inez, Kentucky, Mickey and Nina McCoy watched the news footage with their own sense of foreboding. Ten years ago, they lived through their own such disaster when more than 300 million gallons of coal sludge poured down a mountain into their community. Mickey and Nina say that event pushed them to demand clean water, and fight environmental degradation in Appalachia. Also, an update on an attempt to make a car that can reach 300 mph. Also: a dream green home.
Larry and Ellen Johnson have lived in the Gulf Coast area their entire life and run a local seafood business called High Tide Foods. They catch and sell shrimp, oysters and crabs just as their parents did and their kids and grandkids are doing now. But as oil courses into the Gulf for the third straight month, the future of their business and their way of life is unclear.
Casey DeMoss Roberts was 17 when her father, a oil rig drilling engineer, was killed onboard the Seacrest Drill Ship off the coast of Thailand. A typhoon capsized the vessel. Most of the workers onboard were killed, and the accident is still ranked among the deadliest rig accidents of all time. Inspired in part by her father’s death, Casey began studying the intersection of the environment with public health issues. She now lives in New Orleans and works for the Gulf Restoration Network - which is currently focusing on the effects of Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Also in this show, the music of Razia Said.
Ching Yeung Russell is a writer. Her breakthrough book is called "First Apple." It tells the story of a young girl in China who's never tasted an apple, and sets her mind to do just that. It's pretty close to a true story about her own upbringing.
Paul Glickman and Tamarind King are unlikely creative collaborators. She's a young woman with wonderful talent as an artist. He's a retired New York filmmaker who had one project he still wanted to do.